After an 11-day operation, 237 people were arrested for involvement in loansharking activities.
160 men and 77 women, aged between 13 and 77, were apprehended for allegedly conducting loansharking activities.
They were arrested between 20 July and 30 July 2020.
Preliminary investigations found 51 suspects acted as runners who carried out ATM transfers.
12 of them are believed to have committed acts of harassment by splashing paint and scrawling threatening graffiti symbolic of loan sharks on walls.
The remaining 174 suspects are believed to have opened bank accounts and given away their ATM cards and PIN (Personal Identification Number) to facilitate unlicensed moneylending business.
During the duration of the operation, officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the seven police land divisions conducted simultaneous raids at various locations in Singapore which led them to the suspects.
Further investigations are ongoing.
Under the Moneylenders’ Act (Revised Edition 2010), when a bank account or ATM card of any person is used to facilitate moneylending by an unlicensed moneylender, that person is presumed to have assisted to carry on the business of unlicensed moneylending.
First-time offenders found guilty of assisting in the business of unlicensed moneylending may be fined between S$30,000 and S$300,000, be imprisoned for a term of up to four years, and shall also be liable to be punished with caning of up to six strokes.
First-time offenders found guilty of acting on behalf of an unlicensed moneylender, committing or attempting to commit any acts of harassment will be punished with imprisonment for a term of up to five years, a fine of between S$5,000 and S$50,000, and shall also be liable to caning of between three and six strokes.
If under duress, the public should call the police emergency line at 999 or the X-Ah Long hotline at 1800-924-5664 to also report suspicion of persons involved in loansharking activities.